Tora No Maki Sushi Roll
4 cups cooked, seasoned sushi rice
1 package of sheet nori
1/2 lb. sake (salmon), sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips
1 lb. unagi (eel), sliced into 1-inch strips
8 tbsps masago (flying fish roe)
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
toasted sesame seeds
gari (pickled ginger)
6 tbsps soy sauce
4 tbsps mirin
2 tbsps brown sugar (or caramelized sugar syrup)
dash of rice wine vinegar
To make the eel sauce: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Let boil for a minute or so and reduce to simmer until slightly thickened. Let cool (it will thicken some more, so don’t boil it down too much).
Assembly: On a sheet of plastic wrap, set down one sheet of nori. With wet hands, grab a handful of sushi rice and evenly spread across the top 3/5 of the nori sheet, pressing the rice down to ensure it sticks to the seaweed. Flip the nori over so that the rice faces down onto the plastic wrap. At the non-rice end of the nori, lay out salmon, avocado, and masago, leaving a little room on either end. Take care not to overfill the roll. Roll the fillings up from the non-rice end of the nori (like a carpet) and continue to roll tightly, but not too tightly until the rice encompasses the entire outer part of the roll. Use the plastic wrap to help maintain shape without letting the roll stick to you. Use the bamboo mat to firm up the shape and compact the roll. Remove the bamboo mat and the plastic wrap from the roll. Heat the eel in an oven until very warm. Place a single layer of eel on top of the roll and then cover with plastic wrap and bamboo mat to press the eel to the roll. Remove the bamboo mat. Slice through the plastic wrap with a very sharp knife dipped in water, to get 8 even pieces. Brush eel sauce on top of the pieces and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with wasabi, gari (pickled ginger), and soy sauce. This should yield 4 cut rolls.
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